To the best of my knowledge we have only had one RCL ship call in South Africa, and that was on a positioning voyage many many years ago. I have always had mixed views on these ships because they just keep on getting bigger all the time and there just seems to be no end to them. When I saw that Independence Of The Seas was calling in Southampton I added her to my list of must sees.
She was sitting up at the City Terminal when I arrived and she stuck out like a sore thumb. This was not a small ship. Adonia would have easily fitted inside her hull and still had space for more. She is probably the largest moving man made object I have ever seen.
Sailing was scheduled for 12pm. as she was heading to Hamburg for some bottom scraping. I was early as usual and really expected more people to be there, but I suspect everybody else was up at Mayflower Park.
Eventually she started moving and it was hard to believe what I was seeing, because foreshortened by the distance she just seems high and not long, but there is a lot of ship behind that bow.
She just kept on coming…. I don’t know how many people were on board, but she must be crowded at full capacity (4370 pax with 1360 crew) because she has enough cabins on board. She is also geared for the mass American market so I don’t know how well she does outside of the Caribbean either. She does have quite a following amongst the Southampton ship fraternity, so there must be something right about her.
My first RCL vessel, and well worth the wait. I really was impressed because she was nothing like I expected. She has the right proportions and does not have odd things sticking out at strange angles. And she is impressive. Even her hooter is impressive. And yes, I am impressed.
She is back on the 2nd of May, and Adventure Of The Seas is calling on the 5th of May, so I will probably watch them too. Its going to take a lot to beat this one…
My best pic of her yet.
On 26 June 2014 we encountered with Shieldhall, and she was just as impressive then as when I had last seen her.
© DRW 2013-2018. Images recreated 01/04/2016.